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Jon Beason believes he'll thrive with new Giants 'D' coordinator Steve Spagnuolo

Giants linebacker Jon Beason looks on during practice

Giants linebacker Jon Beason looks on during practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on July 24, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

PHOENIX - Jon Beason said he is looking forward to earning the trust of new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and becoming his new Antonio Pierce.

Beason, appearing on Radio Row at the Super Bowl on Thursday, said he was "a big fan" of Spagnuolo and Pierce in 2007, his rookie season in the NFL. The Giants won a championship that season.

"Just the way they talked about [Pierce], the way he orchestrated the defense where you didn't handicap yourself," Beason said. "He was allowed to check out of things and I think they were on one accord.

"A lot of coordinators are not like that,'' he said. "They spend so much time looking at tendencies and scheming that you make a good call and it's a good call versus what they do, that personnel group, or that down and distance." But things change on the field, and that's the flexibility Beason craves.

"That's what I'm most excited about," he said. "I'm hoping I don't feel as handcuffed as it is typically in the NFL. If I can learn it the way Spags knows it, he'll allow me to not be dictated to by what the offense is. When they check, we can check. That's what I look forward to the most."

Beason has yet to speak with Spagnuolo, but he knows about him.

"I know the name, I know the scheme, I know how he was innovative and how he changed the fire zone package," Beason said. "From what I hear, he's like [Tom] Coughlin; he's very consistent and he runs a tight ship. Any time you do that, you can win games because it's a certain way. This is the way we do things, and if you don't do it, then you're going to be out. That's fine. I understand that. You buy into a system and that's the best way to win.''

Beason still is rehabbing from toe surgery for an injury he suffered last spring that robbed him of most of the 2014 season. He is walking with a slight limp but is out of a boot. He said he is working on exercises to teach his brain to "fire off" on the reconstructed toe. He said he expects to be cleared for running in February.

"It's coming along,'' he said. "We're going to take advantage of the time. It's January and it's feeling really good. I fully expect to be rolling around and getting the troops ready in April, when I believe you really do win a championship."

That's also when he likely will get a chance to meet with Spagnuolo. Rules in the collective-bargaining agreement severely limit contact between coaches and players in the offseason, so Beason won't have a chance to get an early jump on studying the new defense. But he did imagine what his first conversation with Spagnuolo will be like.

'"Hey buddy, listen, I expect great things,' " Beason said when asked what he will say to Spagnuolo. " 'I'm going to come to you and I expect you to lead the guys. I'm going to hold you accountable for a lot. That's how it is . . . I'm going to do my best to do my job at a high level and just my job. And if you can bring a few guys along with you, whether young guys or veteran guys, I think that's the best of both worlds.' "

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